Cheers and Jeers

Cheer

Cheers to Faith Leaders of the Magic Valley, a group of religious leaders of all faiths, for their plans for a rally 11 a.m. Saturday at Twin Falls City Park.

The rally is meant to celebrate the diversity of faith in the Magic Valley and freedom of religion for all people. But it’s also a direct response to the October hate crime committed against the Islamic Center of Twin Falls, where someone draped a cross in pig parts.

“This is to show others and people in the community that we are a welcoming town and this sort of behavior will not be tolerated,” said Haroon Rashid, an outreach leader for the Islamic Center.

The rally has the backing of several political leaders who are expected to speak at the gathering, including Twin Falls Mayor Shawn Barigar, County Commissioner Don Hall and Sen. Lee Heider. Christopher Reid, an LDS bishop and member of Twin Falls City Council, was one of the rally’s organizers.

Other organizers include Presbyterians, Methodists and Muslims.

This is exactly the kind of activity the city needs to show it rejects hate — and to demonstrate that Magic Valley residents share more in common than folks sometimes realize.

We salute the politicians for taking a public stand for religious freedoms, and the organizers for taking the lead on this important demonstration.

Jeer

Jeers to Sen. Mike Crapo, who this week could have single-handedly scuttled the GOP’s tax plan that’s projected to increase the federal deficit by a trillion dollars and disproportionately cuts taxes for corporations and the super wealthy. As a member of the Senate’s Finance Committee, Crapo could have done what he told voters he would do: Stop the government from ballooning the debt.

Instead, he’s now complicit in a plan that some economists say is setting the country on path for economic disaster.

So much for principles.

Did Crapo really mean it when he told voters the national debt is the No. 1 problem facing the country? Or was that just what Crapo thought he wanted voters to hear?

As the Lewiston Tribune pointed out this week, Crapo keeps a running deficit counter on his website. Apparently, that’s just for show.

His support for a bill that lays waste to his principles makes Crapo look like a GOP stooge. How disappointing.

Cheer

Cheers to St. Luke’s Magic Valley Medical Center and the Twin Falls Police Department, who partnered to put opioid-overdose medication in the hands of police.

The drugs could help save untold lives, especially because police are often first to arrive in overdose situations.

“It’s no secret this is a national health care phenomenon that is truly affecting all of our country,” said Twin Falls Police Chief Craig Kingsbury. “This is an easily administered medication that, if used in a timely manner on people who have overdosed on opioid substances, can reverse the effects and in essence help them breathe again and save lives.”

Matt Larsen, an emergency room doctor at St. Luke’s, helped train the police on how to use the drug. He told the Times-News that heroin overdoses were rare only a year ago but are becoming more frequent as an opioid epidemic sweeps across the nation.

Other departments across the valley also equip their police with the overdose drug, called Narcan, although some departments limit its use to officers who may be exposed to dangerous opioids.

Narcan isn’t an end-all medical treatment and it doesn’t save everyone. But even one life saved will make this policy change worth it.

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